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Giffords Shooting

It's A Free Country ®

Explainer: How Did the White House Shooter Get a Gun?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Federal law prohibits certain people from owning arms, among those are people who have been convicted of a felony, minors, drug addicts, and the mentally ill. So why can a mentally ill guy with a criminal history still drive to DC, buy an assault weapon, and shoot the White House?

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The Takeaway

Giffords Shooting Suspect Jared Loughner Found Unfit to Stand Trial

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A federal judge has found Jared Loughner unfit to stand trial. Loughner is accused of killing six people and shooting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The judge made his decision after an angry and confused outburst by defendant Jared Loughner; the ruling will postpone the Tucson shooting case indefinitely. "Buzz" Conover, senior political reporter at KUAT, Tucson's public radio outlet has the details of the trial. Clinical Professor of Law at Washington & Lee University David Bruck explains the next steps in this case.

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WNYC News

Bloomberg Lobbies For Gun Control Bill

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging Congress to pass a bill strengthening background checks for gun purchases. He was in Washington DC on Tuesday lobbying for the measure.

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WNYC News

New York Pols React to Obama's Speech: 'Disappointed,' 'Missed a Chance'

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WNYC

President Obama's speech was a call to arms for those seeking bipartisanship. Unfortunately, those looking for regulations of firearms heard not a word about their cause.

"What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow," Obama said to an audience of Washington lawmakers which, for the first time, had Democrats and Republicans seated next to one another.

"We share common hopes and a common creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled," said the president, referring to the youngest victim of the massacre that left Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords with a gunshot wound to the head.

But after that, Obama did not address the issue of gun control, something Mayor Michael Bloomberg strenuously advocated for with a major media push leading up to the speech.

Afterwards, Bloomberg released a statement calling the omission of gun control from the speech "disappointing."

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It's A Free Blog

Restoring the Dream of Nonviolence

Monday, January 17, 2011

A national holiday is nice; but it is not enough. To honor and respect the memory of Dr. King, those massacred in Arizona and all Americans who have lost their lives to senseless violence, we must show the courage on the issue of gun control.

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It's A Free Blog

What We Learned: Top 10 Political Lessons for 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The good, the bad, the game changers and the so-sos. Here are ten things that happened in 2010 politics that we'd do well to remember in 2011.

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It's A Free Blog

Our Distorted Debate Exaggerates Our Divisions

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The very shape of debate makes it easy for the public to drift into one camp or another, not unlike Coke-Pepsi debates in the 1980s, or the choice between the Yankees or the Mets if you grew up in the Tri-State area.  We’re encouraged to choose a side, to join a team, and there are exactly two sides to choose from.

The result appears to be two very different moralities. But here’s the catch: while the brand loyalties are evenly divided, the underlying values are not. Rather, there is a morality shared by most Americans; and another set of values held by a relative few who simply have enough money and sway to distort the debate.


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It's A Free Blog

In Remembrance: The Honorable John M. Roll

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Federal judge John M. Roll was among the victims killed in the Tucson shootings last week. His untimely death—and the unnerving frequency with which judges require protection from violence—is a sobering reminder of the perils of public service.

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The Takeaway

Will Ariz. Shooting Spur New Gun Laws?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Saturday's shooting in Tucson has led gun control advocates to begin drafting bills to strenghten gun control laws. Meanwhile, gun sales have been up since the shooting. While the issue of gun control tends to come to the fore following tragedies of this sort, few actually think that any real legislative change will come in the wake of the shooting.

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It's A Free Country ®

Different Moralities, Different 'Hopes and Dreams'?

Friday, January 14, 2011

We asked about our common "hopes and dreams," and we got some inspired answers. We also got some pushback. Today, we follow up on this conversation with a look at the limits of our shared political values and the roots of where we diverge.

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The Takeaway

In the Wake of Tucson Tragedy, Reflecting on the Media's Role in Fueling Vitriol

Friday, January 14, 2011

This has been a week of difficult coverage on The Takeaway. The deadly shooting in Tucson left us grappling with difficult questions – not only about the victims and their families, but also about gun control, mental illness, political discourse, extremism, the media and free speech – questions that cut to the very heart of Americans values. What can we learn from the Arizona shooting? How should we reflect on this terrible tragedy?

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It's A Free Blog

The Ties that Bind

Friday, January 14, 2011

9 year-old shooting victim Christina Taylor Green was born on September 11, 2001, and killed last Saturday.

As President Obama said, “here was a young girl just becoming aware of our democracy...." 

"She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted," the president said.

He was right. For while I want to live up to Christina’s expectations, while I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it, I am much older than she and it has become difficult to see past the cynicism and vitriol.

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It's A Free Blog

Dallas Penn Can Save America

Friday, January 14, 2011

The unsettling thing I noticed last year during all the backslapping at the "Rally to Restore Honor," and all the laughter at the "Rally to Restore Sanity," was how many people in America are clearly insane.

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It's A Free Country ®

Thank You, Mr. President

Thursday, January 13, 2011

If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christina is jumping in them today. And here on Earth, we place our hands over our hearts, and commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.

These words, in the final moments of President Obama’s address in Tucson, refer to the 9 year-old victim, Christina Taylor Green. Christina’s life began on a day of national tragedy, September 11th, 2001, and ended with a national tragedy — spanning a decade that saw rancor, war, and economic crisis, as well as historic elections and moments of nationwide unity, prayer and celebration. 

Her life began at the moment of President Bush’s peak of popularity, when he stepped beyond his partisan alliances and delivered words to a grieving nation. Now, a decade later, President Obama has stepped up for his turn to console us, calm us, empathize with us and inspire us.

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It's A Free Country ®

Share: 'Ways Our Hopes and Dreams are Bound Together'

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I thought we might take the opportunity to take the president up on a challenge he posed in his speech in Tucson:

 

Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.

President Barack Obama

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It's A Free Country ®

VIDEO: President Obama's Speech in Tucson

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

President Barack Obama spoke in Tucson, Arizona, on Wednesday night.

Share your thoughts on Obama's speech: will the tragedy in Tucson change the tenor of the American political debate?

Comments [16]

It's A Free Blog

Remembering Clinton's Comforting Words after Oklahoma City

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I had just left my job in the Clinton administration. It was a spring morning. April 19, 1995. A bomb went off at the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City.

I did not know, at that moment, what a big part of my professional life that event would become — the first major news story of my journalism career; the many months I would spend in Denver covering the two federal trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols; and the execution of McVeigh another three years after that. All I knew in April 1995 was that 168 people were dead. 19 of them were children. And we knew that this was the worst act of domestic terrorism on U.S. soil, ever.

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It's A Free Country ®

Comments Roundup: Palin's 'Blood Libel' Remarks

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sarah Palin made headlines this morning by saying that she was the victim of "blood libel." In the wake of the tragic Arizona shootings this past weekend, Palin has drawn heat for her previous use of gun-related imagery in speeches, and for releasing a map that featured a cross-hair symbol over Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' district. In a video statement, Palin dismissed her critics for attributing Jared Lee Loughner's actions to Tea Party rhetoric. That set off a flurry of commenting on the It's a Free Country message boards.

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WNYC News

Palin's Use of 'Blood Libel' Draws Ire

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sarah Palin has spoken up about the Arizona shootings that killed six and seriously wounded 14 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Comments [1]

The Takeaway

Sarah Palin Sparks Controversy with 'Blood Libel' Video

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sarah Palin released a video today in response to criticism that her rhetoric might have had some role in Saturday's Tucson shooting. It's the first time that she's spoken out publicly since the tragedy and her choice of words is causing controversy: She accused pundits and journalists of "blood libel" in what she described as their rush to blame political rhetoric for the attack.

Does Sarah Palin have a point about the connection between rhetoric and an attack like this? How much do you think rhetoric is to blame?

Here's what Palin said:

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